REFLECTIONS – Updated every Wednesday

by Steve Liddick

We are becoming a nation of addicts. I don’t mean drugs, although that is another problem to discuss at another time. No, we are becoming addicted to our smart phones.

You see it all the time; mostly young people walking down the street talking or texting on their iphones, seemingly unaware of the world around them. I have seen people walk into lamp posts, parking meters, and even into other people. Occasionally you see couples in restaurants or two people walking side by side, talking on their phones, not conscious of the actual human next to them. You have to wonder who they are talking to. Possibly to each other, but they apparently don’t know how to relate in the old-fashioned face-to-face mode.

I went to a county fair once and saw a young woman sitting on her horse, completely oblivious to her surroundings and–I’m not making this up–she was texting. It was as though the horse was not even there, just a convenient place to sit. At the very least she might have taken her weight off the poor animal and found a conventional chair to sit on to do her texting.

More and more car crashes these days involve drivers who were texting instead of paying attention to the road ahead of them. Texting while driving is at least as dangerous as driving drunk.

I own an iphone, of course. It would be un-American not to. I’m not addicted to it, though. I only use it for phone calls, email, messaging friends, connecting to the Internet, reading my Kindle books, checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, monitoring my checking account, watching TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Crackle, taking pictures, checking Craigslist, ordering items through Amazon, and as a calculator. I don’t wear a watch anymore, so I use the phone’s clock and alarm features to give me the time and to remind me when to walk the dog, water the outdoor plants, take my pills, and carry the trash down to the road for weekly pickup.

But I it’s not like I’m addicted or anything—like today’s young people.

Comments are invited





by Steve Liddick

It’s funny how perspective changes over a lifetime. When I was ten-years-old I thought nothing of walking two miles to Tommy’s Ice Cream Parlor in Marysville for a cherry milkshake. Today I give careful thought to whether or not I’ll even get up off my easy chair and walk to the kitchen for a diet Coke.

It’s that way with whatever I’m wearing, too. There was a time when I would practically fling clothes on myself without any thought and race out of the house. Today, what should be the simple act of putting on a pair of socks could easily be compared to calisthenics.

I know my feet are down there somewhere beyond the flab and the aching joints. I’m just having trouble coordinating mind and body, which is further complicated by the addition of the socks. Joints don’t really bend in the direction you need them to in order to twist one’s body around to get a sock over five toes that are dead set against receiving it.

A pair of pants offers a similar challenge; two legs on the human, two legs on the pants. Tab A, Slot A. Repeat with Tab B. Simple, right? Well, I don’t know how it is with you young whippersnappers, but this old geezer has to hold onto something to get the job done. Even then, it is a struggle to coordinate the extremities with the target while hopping around the room, tugging, bouncing, straining and trying to avoid falling down.

I find that swearing is no help at all, but that never stops me.

And here’s another thing (“Oh, no, not another thing.”). There was a time when the space between the ringing of the alarm clock and my walking out the door was almost too short a span to measure. Fast forward to present day and I am here to tell you that if I still had to go to a 9 to 5 job I would have to start my preparation at 4 a.m.

In addition to the standard morning routine—which is difficult enough in and of itself—there is the pills and eyedrops regime, plus all the appliances one must locate and install: glasses—which I often have a hard time finding without my glasses—hearing aids, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. .

Thank God I don’t have a wooden leg or I’d never get out of here.